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North Carolina Hometown Revitalization Grants

North Carolina Hometown Revitalization Grants

Small businesses are the heart of our communities.

Application period open March 31 – May 31; grant decisions by August 31.

The pandemic challenged small businesses across Duke Energy’s NC service territory and reminded us all of the tremendous value they bring to creating vibrant downtowns. Duke Energy Foundation’s $500,000 Hometown Revitalization Grant Program will award 20 communities across the state a $25,000 grant via a partnership with a local 501c3 nonprofit. The 501c3 administering nonprofit will apply to the Duke Energy Foundation for the $25,000 grant via the application available on the right-hand side of this page. If awarded a grant, the administering nonprofit grantee will establish a small business support award program to deploy the funding to their local small business community.

Guiding principles for nonprofits applying to Duke Energy Foundation

  • Applicants must:
    • Have current tax-exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Governmental entities are not eligible for this grant opportunity.
    • Serve communities that are also served by Duke Energy.
    • Serve communities without discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, creed, gender, gender identity, age, sexual orientation or national origin.
    • Have a method by which to measure, track and report one or more program outcomes and specific results that demonstrate measurable community impact.
  • Applicants previously awarded a 2021 Hometown Revitalization grant are not eligible to reapply for the 2022 Hometown Revitalization Grant Program.
  • Applicants serving the same community as a 2021 Hometown Revitalization grantee will be given secondary consideration after communities not yet benefiting from the program.
  • Grant awards are $25,000, and the administering nonprofit may use $2,500 of the grant award to cover the expense of program administration.
  • The proposed grant program must address a single downtown region.
  • The Duke Energy local district manager and Duke Energy Foundation staff will support the administering nonprofit to establish a small business support program appropriate for the region.
  • Small business support awards made by the administering nonprofit may range from $500 to $2,500 to any individual small business.
  • Administering nonprofit grantee recipients will be notified of their awards from Duke Energy Foundation by August 31, 2022. The small business support programs must be launched by Oct. 31, 2022 and the administering nonprofit must announce their small business support award recipients by Jan. 15, 2023.

Guiding principles for small business support awards

  • Small business support awards will focus on businesses with <50 employees.
  • Small businesses should have a storefront presence in the downtown area.
  • Nonprofits that operate a storefront small business, like a resale store or café, may be included as small business support applicants.
  • Small business support awards are intended to help small businesses thrive. Appropriate small business expenditures may include:
    • Enhanced service or commerce opportunities, such as modifying physical space, technology to improve online sales or expanding capacity for delivering goods and services.
    • Furniture for expanded outdoor capacity, such materials for construction of takeout windows, accessibility compliance for additional outdoor seating, additional fixtures required for compliance with public health issues.
    • Storefront beautification projects enhancing the appearance of the business and downtown region. For example, new exterior paint, awnings, signage or planters.
    • Tools or programs to support the business’s workforce needs. For example, working with a recruiter, paying to list job opportunities or tuition for a training program. Salaries and incentive pay are ineligible expenses, as noted below.
  • Payroll, incentive pay, rent and utilities are ineligible expenses.

  • The small business support awards may be used to reimburse small businesses for expenses already incurred.


Foundation grant support is not available for: 

  • Governmental entities
  • Churches or evangelical organizations
  • Organizations with a substantial purpose of influencing any political, legislative or regulatory cause
  • Fraternal, veteran or labor membership organizations serving only the members of that organization
  • Organizations offering or providing either Duke Energy Corp., the Duke Energy Foundation, or their respective officers or employees any benefit from the grant
  • Nonprofit organizations that are opposing or intervening parties (or that fund any such parties) in any proceeding in which Duke Energy is a party, or that fund or produce negative advertisements against Duke Energy.
The Foundation does not fund grants for programs and projects associated with, but not limited to, the following:
  • Individual K-12 schools or organizations that operate within an individual school. We will consider school grants at the district level
  • Sports teams or events
  • Religious programs, projects or activities
  • Direct cost reduction for electric or natural gas service provided by Duke Energy
  • External fundraising campaigns or events
  • Endowments or other foundations